Top 7 Reasons Why Your Dog Stares At You
Do you wonder why your dog sometimes stare at you for no apparent reason? Dogs have established eye contact as a way of communicating with their owners. A stare could mean that your dog appreciates you or even trying to read your behavior. Let’s learn some of the reasons why your dog may stare at you:
1. Your Dog wants Something
Have you ever felt compelled to act because your dog won’t give up staring at you? Then probably he or she wants something from you. Dogs learn this behavior unintentionally from their dog owners. They learn that there is “a cause and effect” law that happens when you stare at another being. For example, when you are taking your dog outside for a walk, you may stare at him. And if you want to give him a treat, you would also look at him with soft eyes. So, the dog expects you to give him something after staring at you.
2. Your Dog Loves You
The same way humans gaze at each other’s eyes to show affection is how dogs also look into their pet parent’s eyes. Dogs borrowed this body language from humans to communicate their feelings to their owners. A study by Takefumi Kikusui, an animal behaviorist, revealed that mutual gazing between humans and pets causes the release of hormones similar to when a mother and an infant stare at each other. So, if you catch your dog observing you for a long time without any apparent reason, then it is a sign of affection.
3. Your Dog is Reading your Body Language
This is obvious! We don’t share the same language with dogs. So, the only way dogs can learn our intentions is by constantly reading our body language. As you are learning your dog’s behaviors, so does dog also master your non-verbal cues in any situation.
You may notice your dog watching you as you put on your shoes or go into the kitchen. It is trying to associate your movements with a reward such as a treat or going on a walk.
4. Your Dog is Confused
Have you ever spotted your dog with its head tilted, staring at you? Then he was confused about what your intentions were with him and needed clarification. This body language is common during dog training sessions.
If you think your dog is confused, you should go for more training sessions so that he can understand your commands. Dog training makes it easy to manage your pooch. If you tell him to sit, then your dog will do as you are speaking the same language.
5. Your Dog is Tense & Aggressive
Direct stare? Hard eyes? This stare is rare to come by and your dog usually expresses he is about to bite in defense. If you are approaching your dog’s toy or bed and then he gives you this look, back off immediately!
If the stare comes with a stiff tail, dilated pupils, ears pinned forward, and a closed mouth, then the dog is ready to fight to guard its territory. Give it space by walking away immediately.
6. Your Dog is Hungry & is Begging for Food
Have you ever had this moment when you are snacking on the couch while your dog is seated on the floor, staring at you? He was hungry and wanted a piece of the snack. While it may be a good idea to let him have a bite of the snack, it could turn into a bad habit. Imagine your dog staring at your visitors? Huh!
Discourage this habit by establishing a proper feeding routine that doesn’t make your furry friend go hungry for long hours.
7. Your Old Dog has Dementia
If your old dog keeps on staring at you for long without any apparent reason, it may be a sign of cognitive dysfunction. You should take your dog to the vet for a checkup to rule out the possibility of dementia. Other signs to watch out includes wandering aimlessly and forgetting basic commands he used to respond to quickly.
Dogs stare at their owners to communicate with them or to read their body language. A dog may stare at you to show his or her affection. He might need something from you and a stare is the only way to get your attention.
Author: Vincent Otieno